128 SHIPPING PRACTICE
The golden rule of agency may be expressed as: " Never
exceed instructions, and always keep within authority."
For an agent who acts upon these lines, there should never
be any question of liability, or possible fear of the respon-
sibility falling upon his shoulders.
When a principal appoints an agent, then all the acts of
the agent, and responsibilities incurred are for account of
the principal as though he had acted personally, but only
when he has given his agent the power to act in such
manner. Should the agent exceed his authority and cany
out an action which is outside the scope of his agency then
the principal may refuse to accept responsibility. It should
be observed, however, that the principal cannot impose
secret limitations on the power of the agent; any limitations
must be communicated to the other party.
While the agent must act upon his instructions, he has
implied powers given him to do everything necessary for
the execution of any expressed authority he may have
received. If the agent is appointed for the purpose of
carrying out a certain duty, and receives authority to do so,
but before he is able to proceed has to carry out other acts,
then his authority is implied for such acts, it being under-
stood that he could not have proceeded with his agency
until such matters were attended to.
A special point here which may be stressed is that whilst
an agent receives authority to fix a charter-party, he has no
authority to alter the charter-party in any manner after it
has been signed, even if he sees that such an alteration is in
his principal's interest. Having carried out his duty his
responsibility ceases immediately.
There is also no authority given to an agent to delegate
his duty to another person to act for him. Having been
selected as the agent of the principal, then he must carry
out such agency himself, and he has no powers of delegation
unless express or implied authority to delegate has been
given to him by the principal, or unless it is permissible
by custom of trade, or unless the nature of the business